The River Bečva

The Town of Přerov is divided into two parts by the Bečva River rising in the Beskydy Mountains. It was a favourite place to swim in the past century. The Bečva River has already demonstrated its power several times. The worst year was 1997 when not only Přerov, but Moravia as a whole was hit by destructive flooding.

The Bečva is the biggest sinistral tributary of the river Morava. In the past it flowed through the land in many curves and meanders. The riverbed in Přerov was full of gravel drift and the banks were strengthened by willow vegetation. In the place of the current pond the river created a large curve, which was straightened in the 2nd half of the 19th century (the dike burst open during the great flood on 7 July 1997). The river also used to have countless branches and dead branches, which were filled up and absorbed a part of the surge water. From 1893 until 1903, the first phase of the regulation work took place along the whole length of the river. In some places the river was straightened, the water was diverted to one riverbed, the slope of bed was levelled, and mouths of influxes were adjusted. Further adjustments took place during 1904 ? 1933. During that regulation work more meanders were straightened and the original length of the river was considerably shortened. Nowadays, we know that not all regulations were to the advantage of the surrounding landscape.

Despite the extensive regulations, habitats occupied by rare kinds of mammals, birds, insect, amphibians, molluscs and reptiles can be still found (we will see many of such places on this path). Many critically endangered hygrophilous and water plants grow here and these swamps together with common kinds of fauna and flora represent communities with unusual biodiversity.